length·​en | \ ˈleŋ(k)-thən How to pronounce lengthen (audio) , ˈlen(t)-\
lengthened; lengthening\ ˈleŋ(k)th-​niŋ How to pronounce lengthening (audio) , ˈlen(t)th-​ ; ˈleŋ(k)-​thə-​ , ˈlen(t)-​ \

Definition of lengthen

transitive verb

: to make longer

intransitive verb

: to grow longer

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Other Words from lengthen

lengthener \ ˈleŋ(k)th-​nər How to pronounce lengthener (audio) , ˈlen(t)th-​ ; ˈleŋ(k)-​thə-​ , ˈlen(t)-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for lengthen

extend, lengthen, prolong, protract mean to draw out or add to so as to increase in length. extend and lengthen imply a drawing out in space or time but extend may also imply increase in width, scope, area, or range. extend a vacation extend welfare services lengthen a skirt lengthen the workweek prolong suggests chiefly increase in duration especially beyond usual limits. prolonged illness protract adds to prolong implications of needlessness, vexation, or indefiniteness. protracted litigation

Examples of lengthen in a Sentence

The days lengthened with the approach of spring. Proper care will lengthen the life of the engine. lengthen a pair of trousers
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Recent Examples on the Web

People getting called now have been in Tijuana about 3½ months, but the wait is expected to lengthen. Elliot Spagat, Fortune, "40,000 Migrants Are Now Waiting at the U.S. Border," 8 Aug. 2019 The forest’s dry season started to lengthen in the 1970s; the rains which used to come in October now come in November. The Economist, "The Amazon is approaching an irreversible tipping point," 1 Aug. 2019 Senior first baseman Shayla Thomas and junior pitcher Emily Rush returned as the heart of the order for Marina, but the Vikings needed others to step up to lengthen their lineup. Andrew Turner, Daily Pilot, "Daily Pilot Softball Dream Team: Grace Uribe gave Huntington Beach a puncher’s chance," 26 July 2019 While there are some yoga poses that focus on strengthening the core, usually in a pose like a swan dive or forward fold, the cue is to lengthen the spine and stretch the hamstrings. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, "5 ways to avoid back pain during yoga class," 22 July 2019 Science can be counted on to unlock more mysteries, to frame the right questions and to lengthen the tale. David Von Drehle, Twin Cities, "David Von Drehle: There’s no scientific consensus that humanity is doomed," 14 July 2019 Waymo, Ford, General Motors’ Cruise and others have lengthened their development timelines and say that safe deployment of driverless cars is taking longer than expected. Russ Mitchellstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Tesla has a huge incentive to deploy self-driving tech. But is the world ready?," 9 Aug. 2019 Ardha Uttanasana Press your fingertips into your shins and lengthen your spine, creating a tabletop with your back, while lifting your head up and forward and breathing in. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, "A 31-day yoga routine to help you reduce stress," 1 Aug. 2019 Forcing drivers to move pedicabs with their own power makes the job harder and lengthens each trip, making the job less lucrative, Horuz said. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego’s pedicab crackdown getting mixed reviews," 28 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lengthen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lengthen

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for lengthen

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lengthen

The first known use of lengthen was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for lengthen



English Language Learners Definition of lengthen

: to become longer
: to make (something) longer


length·​en | \ ˈleŋ-thən How to pronounce lengthen (audio) \
lengthened; lengthening

Kids Definition of lengthen

: to make or become longer lengthen a dress

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More from Merriam-Webster on lengthen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lengthen

Spanish Central: Translation of lengthen

Nglish: Translation of lengthen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lengthen for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lengthen

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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